Are you ready for love? Do you have a solid foundation to date responsibly, court, and eventually enter into a lifelong covenant of marriage? Selfishness should put the brakes on any plans you have to start any of this.
Let’s be honest, we all have selfish tendencies… don’t we? We want what we want, when we want it. This is true in relationships as well. Regardless of how giving and understanding we are, a part of us wants people to agree with us, respect the things we enjoy, support our decisions, not argue if we change our mind, show up on time, give us our space, etc… These are natural selfish tendencies we have, because we are human… though we should continually seek to master them. However, we are not talking about tendencies here. We are talking about selfishness (repeat selfish behavior). This occurs when someone displays a pattern of behavior that shows disregard for others; actions that are not conducive to love.
Generally, when people start dating, once they get past the initial emotions, roses, and candlelight… you can begin to see the person for who they really are. This is why I advocate dating with intentions and getting to know one another as friends first. This way, you will not be overly distracted by things that cause you to fall into sinful situations. Relationships are hard work and love is even harder… requiring two people working together to walk together to learn to grow together as one. The world is full of distractions. We must focus.
If you are dating a selfish person or if you are selfish, you should consider putting the brakes on the relationship and getting the help you need. Understand selfishness will cause you to end up alone or destroy every relationship you enter into. So, it is better to do the right thing now.
Here are 5 signs to help you know if you are too selfish for love:
1. You are dishonest about your past – When we are dishonest, we take away other people’s choices. If we are dishonest about our past, because we are afraid someone will choose to leave us… we are only looking out for our best interest. Love is about doing whatever you can to make someone else’s life easier. So, until you are able to be honest about your past and allow them to choose you for who you are, you are not ready to love with a pure heart.
2. You give ultimatums – When we make people believe our commitment or loyalty is dependent on how well they meet our expectations, we do not love unconditionally (the only true way to love). Conditions are usually a response to fear. Fear and love cannot dwell in the same place. (“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” ~1 John 4:18). So, you should seek to address your deep-rooted fears before attempting to enter into a relationship.
3. You throw tantrums – When we don’t get our way, do we adjust to the situation and continue moving forward or do we allow our emotions to take over? Tantrums are a form of manipulation. They are emotional outbursts designed to make people do what you want them to do; to get control of a situation. Love is about honest communication and manipulation is dishonest.
4. You look for imperfection in others – If you want to be accepted as you are, yet you expect others to be perfect… you are selfish. When we make it our business to point out imperfections in others, we are creating an unbalanced relationship. To experience a truly loving relationship, you must seek to have balance (6 Ways to Balance Love and Life).
5. You give up easily – Love says, “I am here for you… in the good and bad times. I will love you on our good and bad days. I will love the best parts of you and love you through the worst.” When you choose to love, you realize it is not just about you. It is about the other person. It is also about using your relationship as a ministry to honor and glorify God. If you give up and walk away every time things get difficult, your choice to love was not unconditional. You chose to like or to experience a connection while it was convenient for you. So, if you don’t yet have what it takes to make the sort of commitment required by love, then you should avoid getting into a relationship that you are not ready for. That is the honorable thing to do.
Trying to have relationships when you know you are not ready is selfish. Selflessness can be learned. Start today and seek the help you need.
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